Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Terrine

The August Charcutepalooza Challenge was to make a molded terrine. Cathy and Kim gave us the choice of using emulsified liver or fish/seafood (or we could use super exciting pig parts like heads and feet), but I did none of the above.

My heart just wasn’t in this challenge. I don’t really like liver, and while I do love fish, the thought of a blended fish terrine didn’t really appeal to me. I didn’t want to skip the challenge altogether, though, so even if this Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese terrine does not meet the official challenge requirements, I figured I’d make it anyway.

The inspiration for my terrine was this Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Gelatin Salad which Barbara posted on her blog last summer. I don’t use gelatin in my kitchen much, but really liked the idea of this riff on a classic salad.

This terrine could not have been simpler to make. I started with a few different colored varieties of heirloom tomatoes from my garden (I believe I used 6 tomatoes varying from quite small to quite large). Once sliced, I let these rest on kitchen towels for a while, to get rid of some of the moisture. Then I dissolved 2 packets of Knox gelatin in 1 cup of hot water. After letting this sit for a minute or two, I mixed it with 2 cups of hot homemade vegetable stock. I layered the tomatoes, about 12 large, torn basil leaves, and small pieces from about an ounce of goat cheese in my olive oiled mold (I used a 9×5 inch bread pan), then poured the gelatin/stock mixture over so everything was completely covered.

I let the terrine set in the refrigerator for about 6 hours before slicing it, and it firmed up very nicely.

As I mentioned before, I have not used gelatin very much in my kitchen and, to be honest, it’s always kind of freaked me out a little. That said, I am starting to understand why some people love dishes that are made with gelatin. They are pretty…they jiggle…they’re fun. This terrine was actually very tasty, too: I loved how the tomatoes, basil and goat cheese are suspended in the subtly firmed stock, and how a tiny drizzle of olive oil and a grind or two of fresh black pepper elevated the dish just ever so slightly.

Once again charcutepalooza has pushed me into new cooking territory: I am now looking forward to experimenting more with gelatin, and that’s definitely not something I ever thought I’d say :)